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Published: December 9th 2008
December 9, 2008
We are in the Bahamas and glad to be here. We left Vero Beach on American Thanksgiving November 27th (after dinner of course) and crossed that night to Port Lucaya Grand Bahamas.
This year the weather has been a little unique down south. In Florida it has been colder than usual, with lots of cold fronts (always from cold Canada) . We travelled from St.Marys Georgia to Vero Beach Florida, in the Inland Waterway, then spent 9 days in Vero Beach.
Vero Beach is a very popular spot for people like us en route to the Bahamas or the Caribbean. They have great facilities for boaters, excellent access to shopping for provisions, and it’s a wonderful place to meet old , and new friends. Most boats tie up to mooring balls, and it is not uncommon for there to be 3 boats tied to a mooring ball at the busiest times, like US Thanksgiving. In the US, Thanksgiving seems to be the busiest family holiday of the year, I think even more so than Christmas. Every year the boaters have a fantastic “Pot Luck” Thanksgiving dinner. This year we enjoyed the dinner, then at 3:00PM headed
Sunset over Florida
Running coast of Florida prior to crossing the gulf stream.
for the Bahamas!
We hadn’t planned on such a quick exit, but there was a very good break in the weather, and a chance for an easy crossing to the Bahamas Thursday night. Normally we would work our way south to at least West Palm Beach before crossing , but the time was right to cross, so…… we left Thanksgiving afternoon, went down to Fort Pierce, and started our passage to the Bahamas.
We stayed very close to the Florida coast until we got to Delray Beach then headed for Port Lucaya Grand Bahamas. Crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas is a trip that requires more care, as it can be pretty rough, especially if there is strong northerly wind. This year was the easiest, and calmest we have ever seen the gulf stream. There was a nice breeze going down the coast of Florida, then it went calm with absolutely no wind for most of the gulf stream crossing. Just as we got through the Gulf Stream, and at daylight, a group of Dolphins came up to our boat playing in the bow waves, as if to say, “ Welcome to the Bahamas” . Friday afternoon
Sunrise in the Gulf Stream
Friends on Double Wide ahead of us.
at 4:00pm we arrived in Port Lucaya. (25 hours from Vero Beach to Lucaya).
We enjoyed Port Lucaya for a couple days, and left on Tuesday, headed for the Berry Islands. The Berry Islands is where you first see the really beautiful blue water, white sand of the Bahamas and of course the clear water and stunning coral reefs.
As happens every once in a while, we had a rough crossing from Lucaya to the Berrys. The wind was much stronger than forecast (30 to 35 knots for a few hours) and pushed us to change our course for Bullacks Harbour instead of Stirrup Cay) We did get there …. a little humbled, a few things broken, but safe and sound. We rested for a day then went around Great Harbour to Market Fish Cay in the Berry Islands and enjoyed a day of beach walking, finding some shells and other treasures.
The following day we headed for Nassau. We had not intended on going to Nassau this year, however “DoubleWide” the boat we are travelling with blew out their main sail in the crossing from Lucaya, so they needed to go to Nassau to get their
Like a Mill pond
An unusual experience in the Gulf Stream.
sail fixed. We did spend a nice afternoon in Nassau, and “DoubleWide” got their sail fixed by a fantastic sailmaker there. In the evening we went over to Atlantis, on Paradise Island, to watch the gambling and check out the incredible aquarium again. In the morning we went out and anchored off Rose Island.
On Monday morning we started heading down the Exumas, spending Monday night at Hawksbill, and arriving yesterday at Wardwick Wells, in the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park. From here on we are truly in Paradise, and 2 long days to Georgetown. Yesterday afternoon we went snorkeling and saw some nice reefs and beautiful fish including a huge Grouper. (You can’t spear fish in the park, and Grouper is out of season!)
The weather has again changed with 20 to 25 knot winds so we will enjoy the park until we get good weather to get further down the Exumas.. We need to be in Georgetown by December 20th, as Steve arrives for Christmas followed by Dawn Paul and Ella on December 22nd. Although it’s getting close we are pretty confident we’ll get the right weather in the next week.
So far the
Happy to be in the Bahamas
Doug and Sharon with Cameron from Double Wide
trip has been really good. We have been travelling with our friends Nancy and Cameron on a Catamaran called Double Wide. They are great to travel with, and also need to get to Georgetown at the same time as us.
I’m sure everyone is getting in the Christmas spirit back home. It looks like you are getting snow to get you in the mood. We’ve been listening on CBC to the political stuff, and that is pretty entertaining. We’ll try to write a short Christmas note when we get to Georgetown, but for now enjoy the holiday Season.
Sharon and Doug, Aboard SV About Time
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